Faces of Prostate Cancer
Dave Deschenes recently competed in the 2008 St. Anthony's Triathlon while raising money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation through its Athletes for a Cure program. Here, in his own words, Dave explains the motivation behind his participation:
Nothing prepares you for the words, "You have cancer." Not at 38 years old, or any age for that matter. Up to that point, I lived my life with a feeling of invincibility and the idea that bad things happen to other people. That is until the day a doctor told me that I had prostate cancer.
My wife, Kara, and I immediately sought information about the various treatment options. I was lucky to have the opportunity to visit several of the top doctors in the country, who specialize in treating prostate cancer. I wasn't lucky to hear that I was the second youngest patient to be seen with this disease at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. I was suddenly part of a statistic that I hadn't asked to be.
After several months of searching for a doctor with whom I felt comfortable, I elected to have a laparoscopic robotic prostatectomy in January of 2007. The first couple of months after the surgery were brutal in terms of dealing with the aftermath, but my family pulled together to help me get through it. Finally, the long road to my recovery has brought me back to a place where I'm cancer free, and healthy.
Only two months before I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, Kara, my son, Kyle, and I were bitten by the "triathlon bug." We competed in a few sprint distance triathlons and were just getting into the multi-sport lifestyle. When news of my cancer hit, we used triathlons to motivate me to fight and move towards recovery. During my fight, my goal was to get healthy so that I could compete in the sport we had just begun to love.
It's been over a year since my surgery, and Kara and I decided to compete in a triathlon as a symbol of our fight against cancer and a celebration of our healthy lives. We decided to commit to St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg, FL. Not too long after we registered, we found out about Athletes for a Cure and how we could raise money for this organization that supports prostate cancer specific research. To compete in a triathlon in honor of our fight while also raising funds for those who still have to fight against this disease, seemed to be a perfect fit for us.
We truly believe that my successful recovery from the surgery can be attributed to the advances in medical technology for the treatment of prostate cancer. We want to continue the fight against prostate cancer and help support the research. My favorable outcome was achieved because someone cared enough to research better treatment options.
Through the Athletes for a Cure program, Kara and I can give back and support future research so that more men will have a positive outcome like me. We can't wait to compete and are truly grateful for the opportunity to partner with Athletes for a Cure.
Lake O Lake, Florida
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